Yesterday reports began doing the rounds that said Microsoft was looking to ditch the term 'Metro.' Though the company is happy with the Windows 8 UI that also appears in Windows Phone 8, it's thought Redmond was in a bit of hot water because of the moniker. Several sources reported that Microsoft's Legal and Corporate Affairs team had distributed a memo to all internal and external parties banning the use of the "Metro" term. The memo reportedly said that the company had been threatened with legal action for infringing on "Metro" trademarks currently held by German retail giant Metro AG.
Late last night word of another memo surfaced. The Verge writes that a tipster provided an internal memo sent to Microsoft employees confirming the move. Microsoft said in the memo that the decision to discontinue the use of the 'Metro' term was due to "discussions with an important European partner."
So, we now know the rumors are true, but what next? Well, according to The Verge's sources, Microsoft is working on a replacement term. This person says it hopes to have it nailed down by the end of the week. For now, staff have been told to call it the "Windows 8 style UI." Catchy!
In an official statement sent to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft said that Metro was 'just' a codename and that it's normal for the company to switch to the commercial names for products closer to launch.
"We have used 'Metro style' as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines," a Microsoft representative told ZDNet, seemingly dismissing the legal claims. "As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialog to a broad consumer dialog, we will use our commercial names."
Windows 8 went RTM on Wednesday, August 1, and will go retail on October 26. Windows Phone 8 devices are expected to hit the market in November while Microsoft's hotly anticipated Windows 8 Surface tablets are launching on the same day Windows 8 is released.